MCAU have a proven capability of making a difference in the commercial rejuvenation of declining shopping centre assets, and in reviving our declining town centres and high streets.
Delivering genuine mixed-use development has never been so important as it is now and can be a vital answer in addressing these issues, where each component adds to the vibrancy, rejuvenation, and commercial viability of these places.
In addressing this challenge, we need to avoid the race to mediocrity and avoid the notion that any type of development and a ‘sticking plaster’ approach is good and is accepted and presented as progress. If we want our towns and cities to be sustainable in the long term, they must attract and retain people and create an environment that fully serves those businesses that choose to be there. It is vitally important now more than ever to reintroduce a population that is settled into these areas, to help support and serve those commercial communities and to help them reposition and adapt accordingly. Refocusing on mixed use town centres and local commercial neighbourhoods which are served by multi-generational housing can have a really positive impact in reviving these declining areas.
Many of our cities and town centres are in a danger of losing their identity and prosperity through the combined impacts of industrial change, online shopping and home delivery, out-of-town and large format retailing, and the migration of large sections of the local population towards bigger cities. As an example, many town centres high streets and shopping centre assets are facing the challenge of growing decay owing to loss of their original purpose. MCAU can evaluate and present design and strategic development solutions that are clever, creative, and commercially viable. Which maximises the efficient use of available space, seeks alternative use for that not now required, and delivers aspiration which can dramatically increase future values through innovative and cost-effective design which delivers a sense of place and new identity.
Having knowledge across all work sectors and how these components can physically work together is vital in establishing workable mixed-use solutions, particularly where residential use is being reintroduced. At the same time there is great opportunity to articulate a new social awareness and foster low carbon environmental strategies which can help re-establish a commercial and residential identity of an area, and promote it as a new and sustainable community.